Anonymous NFL scouts ripped into Jameis Winston after he was suspended for the Clemson game for jumping on a table and reciting a profanity-laced meme.
The Florida State quarterback, who has faced a slew of off-field controversies over the last 12 months, was considered the best player in the 2015 NFL Draft by ESPN and CBS as recently as August.
Now NFL talent evaluators have their doubts.
One scout told Albert Breer of the NFL Network that he was a “fraud.” He’s presumably referring to reports that Winston lied about his table-jumping incident in his original meeting with Florida State:
“He’s a fraud. You can’t believe anything he says, because he keeps doing the same things over and over. In my mind, there are night-and-day differences between (Johnny) Manziel’s and his character concerns. Winston has some serious issues.”
Another scout told Yahoo’s Eric Edholm that people around Florida State privately rip him:
“I just write up the [scouting] reports, and mine has a lot of red ink on it, if you know what I mean. When you talk to people [about Winston], it’s either excuses being made or they privately rip him. That just doesn’t earn you a lot of trust.”
One scout told SI that he’s too immature still, and needs to stay in school to rehabilitate his image:
“He’s a big-arse immature kid. I think he needs to stay another year and prove that he can keep himself clean. Maybe even two more years. The skill is there, but …”
NFL scouts anonymously ripping college players for “character issues” has become an annual tradition, and it may or may not mean Winston actually tumbles when draft night rolls around.
But there’s also this interesting tidbit from the draft analysts at NFL Network Daniel Jeremiah. They say scouts have some actual football-related complaints about Winston:
“A former NFL quarterback who’s gone on to become a QB guru tells us that even before Jameis Winston’s latest off-field issue, he had serious concerns about his game. The source said he’s concerned about Winston’s long delivery, footwork, mechanics in the pocket, and accuracy at times. But, the former QB added, ‘I remember that when the bright lights came on, he produced in a big way, and he was mature beyond his years on the field.'”
While Winston’s stats in yards per attempt, INT rate, and TD rate are down slightly from his Heisman winning 2013 season, he has only played two games. We don’t have a full set of 2014 data from Winston yet.
As a redshirt sophomore, Winston is eligible for the 2015 draft. The consensus seems to be that he would benefit from staying an extra year in college, both to distance himself from his 2014 controversies and to improve the mechanical gripes some scouts have.
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